Monday, August 26, 2019

Not god.

The hardest thing about parenting for me has been enduring my children's choices that are different that what I would choose for them.

Since they were babies I loved and prayed for these beloved humans.
I know was flawed.
But I never didn't pray or try my hardest to make choices that were in their best interest.

And then they become adults.
Or kind of adults.
Someones idea of adults.

And they make choices that smack you in the face and thrown you to the ground in
disbelief and dismay.

And you wonder how someone could hear you preach something for their whole lives and do the opposite.

It is especially difficult for me since I have always been a rule follower and a straight arrow.
Ridiculously so.

So I don't understand someone not taking my most excellent life advice to heart.
I do not think I ever will understand this.

My husband is not as shocked as I am.
He had a colorful past.

 I suppose I was filled with pride expecting to be listened to and respected.

I know Elisabeth Elliot would say, do it as unto the Lord.
If you are doing whatever you are doing as unto the Lord, you will not fail.
(Because you had the right motivation.)

And maybe sometimes I had the right motivation and sometimes I didn't.
Obeying me would protect them from lots of woes.

And yeah, yeah, yeah, they have to make their own mistakes and learn from them (or not.)

But it's hard not being god...even tho you didn't actually know that's what you were up to.

And so as the last birdie flies the nest,
I will feel relief that I am off sentry duty.
But our sweet times will be missed.

When I am feeling blue I feel like I failed my life's calling.
When I am not having a pity party,
I know I did what I wanted to do and I think I would do it again,
because there is nothing I love more than being a mom.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:16

It's hidden in the heart.


"... but you can love completely without complete understanding." 
A River Runs Thru It

“No whimpering, madam! You can't have the joys of motherhood without some of its pangs! Think of your blessings, and don't be a coward!—” 
~ Kate Douglas Wiggin, Mother Carey's Chickens
Teaching me things 25 years later.

From a little poster I have in my house from Lindsey Letters;

Believe the Best
Forgive the Rest and say
I love you.

Mean it.
Donna Elsie


  1. Anonymous7:38 PM

    I'm usually a reader not a commenter but these words really got me right smack in my heart. As a mother of 3 adults, I know exactly what you mean. I have a plaque near my kitchen sink that says, "Help me each day to bring out the best. Believing in goodness, forgetting the rest." It has been my mantra since my children were teens, so approximately 20 years. God bless you. Betsy

    1. Hi Betsy,
      It was hard to put this up here. I didn't link it on social media because it's sensitive. I don't want to talk poorly about anyone...but my experience and your experience with growing children, into adulthood is, I'm finding out, very common. And when I share something this sensitive it usually ends up comforting or helping in a way...walking beside. I sure hope so.

      "You can't have the joys of motherhood without some of its pangs! Think of your blessings, and don't be a coward!—”

      I will remind myself of this every day and be thankful.

    2. Yes, this comforted me too. It's very real for us.

  2. Good, honest, from-the-heart post.

    When I look back on my years of parenting, I tell myself: "I did the best I could, at the time, with what I knew then".

    Love covers all my bloopers, I'm hoping.

    Proverbs 22 is a wise saying, not a guarantee. Still, truth has been planted like seeds, and the Lord can cause them to flourish.

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Hugs xx

    (Says a fellow rule follower!)

  3. Dear "not God",

    Love you. Mean it.


  4. I have seven children, five of them are sons. I'm holding God to that promise " if you raise them up in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it.

    That is after begging mercy and forgiveness for my many failings as a mother.

    As you said about yourself being a rule follower and straight arrow....I have learned so much about my children after I starting reading about the different personality types. I feel like it would have been so helpful if I had understood them as a type different from me as far as how we look at life and respond to things... and maybe I would have done a better job. ? But...God will make up the difference. He forgives my failings and promises to hold them in His hand.

    I'm holding Him to it.

  5. Forgiveness.
    It is a balm and I am thankful for it.

  6. Such a helpful post. Love never fails, that's what I hold on to. And God is always working, even when it seems our work didn't always turn out the way we expected...

  7. I feel your pain, Donna. Oh,could I tell you stories. Presently going through something with my two youngest girls(ages 20 & 22). They haven't walked away from their faith, like some of my others have, but the choices, oh the choices...

    Sending love and prayers your way.

  8. Anonymous10:43 PM

    Yes to all of the above. It is so hard, isn't it? I pray constantly for my adult son who tells me he no longer has any faith and holds many views that are opposed to how he was raised. I entrust him to God's care and pray that my son will realize who He is. Thank you, Donna, for keeping it real and being honest about so many things in life. You always resonate a chord with me, which I why I will read your blog as long as you are willing to write! Thank you, friend.

    Debbie Z.

  9. Thank you for this post Donna...well said! I think your words speak for many of us moms. Like you, I have 4 grown children. My 2 boys are 37 & 38. My 2 girls are 33 & 35. I homeschooled all of them up to high school and they were raised in a Christian home. All but the oldest are married with children. We've experienced alcoholism, turning away from God, dishonesty, financial struggles, jailtime, and more. I used to feel a lot of guilt about my parenting. Today I am changed. I've by no means arrived, but I feel better about life. Through all of the poor choices and outcomes, I've personally been stretched to become what I believe is a better version of me. I do much better at stepping out of God's way and not trying to control the show. I don't care so much about what others think and see in my family, but more about what I see. What I see is young adults living and navigating in a culture that is much different than the one I navigated. I see a paradigm shift...a big one. What I see is human beings that I hopelessly love and want to do right by. What I tell myself often is that the seed of faith is planted in each of these humans and that God will care for those seeds. My dad used to say, in regards to raising kids, it's like shoveling sand against the tide...Amen to that!

    As another reader wrote, thanks for keeping it real and being honest. It's like a breath of fresh air reading your blog.

  10. Teacakebiscuit4:05 AM

    Wow, powerful worlds. Thankyou for posting. As a mum of three small children who has a life of parenting older children and adults ahead, you’ve given me pause for thought that although it feels like I might have a certain amount of grip on things now while they’re all little, I really need to start to prepare myself for the time when that’ll not be the case. I feel so naive that I hadn’t even considered that this would happen, and when it does how I will feel about it. I really respect your honesty. But please know that by posting this you will have helped to guide me. Thankyou. I appreciate this is not a nice feeling and I can only imagine how it must feel, but you are in my thoughts. You’ve raised three incredible children, there’s no doubting that, and they’ve all had their successes, so you’ve definitely done something right. I just hope I have similar successes with my three x

  11. Dear Ginny,
    I am feeling better already. As I remember to be thankful for my kiddos and not just focus on the disappointments. (the pangs) That is also something that I need to work on...that is not a nice quality at all. So I will say thankful lots more than I will say, woe is me. I love them so much and they love me too. Very blessed.

  12. I've been a reader for over a decade, but don't think I've ever commented ... but coming across your post today was very timely, as I am currently struggling with decisions my kids are making. Had to pull out a book last night I read years ago that helps me (called Love No Matter What) because my nature is to fret and worry and be anxious (and maybe control a little too). My parents were not perfect, and sometimes that's hard to forgive until you become a parent too. Then you have a new level of understanding, and say "they did the best with what they knew at the time". Now I just need to apply this wisdom to myself. Thank you for sharing your heart, you've made this mom not feel so alone. -Sabrina

  13. I love this post and the comments too. All I will say is yes, amen and I understand. ♥️


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